Neuqua Valley Invite, 4.22.16

Post date: Apr 23, 2016 5:31:55 PM

What a difference a year can make.

Last year, the Indians competed at the Neuqua Valley Invitational and finished 5th with 76 points. They returned this year and won, tallying up 111 points. The JV also won, by just 1/2 a point.

Now, we don’t generally like to compare one season to another. There are too many variables — individual athletes on the team, weather, injuries, opponents. Each team and each season is different in its own way.

However, there are some things you can compare from one season to the next. Let’s take a look at individual Minooka athletes who competed in the exact same events (or with comparable conversions to relay splits) at the Neuqua Valley Invitational last year and last night.

Last night, there were 23 opportunities for Minooka individuals to show specific improvement in a the same event at the same meet a year later. Of those 23 times, Minooka improved 21 times.

On the track, 15 individuals knocked a total of 1 minute, 16.06 seconds off their times. That comes out to 5.07 seconds per athlete.

Track improvement items of note: 14.82 seconds off an individual 800-meter time and 31.37 seconds off a 3200-meter time.

In the field, 6 individuals added a total of 33 feet, 11 inches to their marks. That’s 5 feet, 8 inches per person.

Field improvement items of note: a 6-foot increase for one discus thrower; a 13-foot, 2-inch increase for another discus thrower; a 4-foot, 6.5-inch increase for a thrower of the shot put; and a 7-foot, 2-inch increase for a triple jumper.

Turning to relays. Here, the comparisons are not as true. There were several different athletes in these events this year. However, relays do give us an indication of the total picture of the team. Of the 8 relays on the track last night, all 8 ran faster times than last year. Minooka relays improved by a total of 38.28 seconds.

We expect athletes to improve one year to the next. They grow, they learn, and their results should reflect that. But it doesn’t always happen. Not every athlete learns from mistakes. Not every athlete stays injury free. Not every athlete joins the team again.

We are now halfway through the outdoor season. Improvement is happening. Times are faster and marks are farther.

One specific mark last night was not comparable to one the year before because she didn’t run it last year at this meet. But last night she ran 10:44.22 in the 3200-meter run. A new school record, and just one heckuva run in general.

That 10:44.22 was 33.42 seconds faster than her season’s best from last year. What a difference a year can make.

Go Indians.

– Coach Thomas